Friday, October 28, 2022

It's not just roses...

This month marks the end of my six and a half years of service on the board of directors for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. I met so many talented people during my run, it has truly been an honor. Today's garden visit is to a fellow board member's garden, that of Harry Lander...

Funny thing is, I've never actually met Harry in person. He joined the board during the COVID era. The board used to meet in person at the HPSO's office, however since spring of 2020 the meetings have all been online. I do however know that he's the former curator at Portland's International Rose Test Gardens, and he also served on the board of the Portland Rose Society. Thus I figured his garden would be all roses all the time. Whenever he held an open garden event I didn't even consider going. Well, until now...

Ryan of @tropicalpdx was the one who pushed me to visit, he lives near Harry and knew there were plants I would enjoy.

Even agaves!

There are definitely some plants in the garden's mix that can't stay in ground thru a Portland winter, so I was curious how they're protected. I imagined them getting whisked off to some fancy greenhouse Harry had connections to.

But no! They get shuffled into this window and sky-lit room behind the palm.

I didn't actually talk to Harry during this visit—he was off entertaining more important visitors—but I do imagine this gorgeous brugmansia is pruned back, dug, and stashed indoors.

Now we've passed into the back garden and the light got kind of weird. It was a day of mixed sky conditions.

To the left is the entrance to the back garden, in the above photos I was looking straight ahead, but here I turned to look back.

There is a pond between me and those two gentleman, that's what they're looking down at.

Proof of pond.

Oh ya! Tree ferns!!!

I heard from another visitor that Harry used wrap these with a heat-source during the winter, but now that we've "moved up a zone" there's no need (an idea that I'm not buying into, btw—climate change means erratic non-predicable temperature swings, not all "warming"). Fingers crossed for them.

Looking back towards the pond.

I didn't quite understand this installation. The staghorn ferns were stunning, but the door didn't seem to add anything to the mix.

Impressive staghorns!

I was also a fan of these fern-covered orbs.

I need fern orbs in my garden!

Another staghorn on the potting bench.

Thanks for opening your garden Harry, and to Ryan for encouraging me to visit...

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Not a rose in sight. A lovely garden of foliage and texture. Those fern orbs are gorgeous as is the last photo of the fern on the fence. Congratulations on your long service to the HPSO. What's the next new challenge on the horizon?

    1. Well, there were a few roses, I just didn't photograph them! As for the next challenge, I am still working that one out. Some ideas are simmering!

  2. I had to scan your post a second time to catch sight of any roses ;) That was quite a fern collection, though.

    1. I'm sure I could have thrown a lot more roses in, if they had been my target, but I managed to overlook them...

  3. This year I grew my first Datura. Pink Picotee. I named her "Dorothy" (Dot for short). She's in a pot. They do very well in containers. She EXPLODED with blooms the week before our big heatwave. Most of them melted away with the 100+ temps.
    Fortunately I got photos of them before they wilted away:

    P.S. I love her. So do my neighbors who have a spectacular view from their bedroom window.

    1. Dot is a beauty! And fingers crossed for little Spike.

  4. I love unexpected surprises like this. I would have enjoyed touring this garden.

    As far as fern orbs are concerned, everybody should have one!

  5. Congratulations on your 6.5 years of service to the HPSO. They were lucky to have your expertise for such a long period and I hope your contribution was acknowledged and celebrated.

    I’m often surprised at how a ‘tropical’ look garden can be achieved in your local climate and Harry’s garden is a good example of this. So much lush foliage!

    1. I'm sure if he hasn't already Harry is out there pulling plants in for protection right now, the fact that our gardens just play with tropical is being driven home by some below-freezing temps in the forecast.

  6. Harry has a handsome Agave queen Victoria, one of my favorites. I'm also impressed with large tree fern, (which remind me to visit the Amazon sphere agains), and the hosta at its feet. It looks like this garden has just about everything from desert to tropical, and water plants to boot. I wonder if the fern in the ball is licorice fern... I love how they grow sideways like this on tree trunks in the rain forest.

    1. It does look a lot like licorice fern, but they usually go dormant in the summertime so I'm thinking not. I wish I was better at fern ID.


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